Allies to decide Bihar cabinet, says chief minister

Patna : Leaders of the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal as well as the ruling Janata Dal-United would decide on the expansion of the Bihar cabinet, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said Tuesday.

“I would expand my cabinet only after consultations with allies,” Manjhi told media persons here when asked if the RJD and the Congress would join his government.

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He specifically named Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, his JD-U’s chief Sharad Yadav as well as predecessor Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.

Last week, leaders of the JD-U and its new ally, the RJD, hinted that the RJD and Congress representatives were likely to be inducted in the Manjhi cabinet.

“A formal announcement will be made only after Lalu Prasad arrives from Mumbai, where he is recovering after a major heart surgery,” an RJD leader said.

Till now, both the RJD and the Congress are extending support to the Manjhi government from outside.

Last month, the RJD, JD-U and the Congress alliance stunned the Bharatiya Janata Party by winning six of the 10 assembly seats for which bye-elections were held.

The ruling JD-U has 119 members in the 243-member assembly and enjoys the support of 24 RJD members, five Congress legislators, one Communist Party of India member and two Independents.